I can only catch sight of rainbows in the back garden.
They are always a surprise. Can God’s promises fill us with surprise?
A December day and the rainbow
is fleetingly present.
Glimpsed it disappears.
But caught, momentarily,
Advent promise is not fleeting.
It comes as warning, as challenge, as hope.
It comes with the voices of prophets
calling Prepare the Way!
heralding visions of a time to be
when all will be well.
It comes into being
with the Angel’s message
to Mary, to Joseph, to those shepherds
to me and to you.
Down the ages the promise rings out
its clarion call.
That promise brought to birth as –
Emmanuel, God with us.
And our response to that promise?
In a world torn apart
with greed, cruelty, apathy,
with our dis-eased planet
trembling on the brink
do we cry out in despair?
Where is the Advent promise of hope?
The rainbow is only revealed
where there is both
sunshine and rain.
Perhaps a reminder of your presence Lord,
both in tears and in laughter.
It spreads its arc, splitting the light into splendour.
Can we imagine that,
as our tears fall,
your light catches them and they gleam?
help us to catch the fragments of hope,
the light in the tears.
Help us to learn how to weave them together,
the joy and the sorrow,
the health and the pain,
the grief and rejoicing;
help us to learn to hold on in the dark
to the light of that Eternal Promise:
‘I will be with you always to the end of time.’